People on the subway Posted by on Feb 2, 2021 in Culture, People, Vocabulary

In a common English-language folk song “the people on the bus go up and down”. In Paris, the people on the subway do that … and a whole lot more!

No people on the subway

On trouve tout … dans le métro

La Samaritaine is still closed, but these days you can find it all … on the subway!1Ok, maybe not exactly these days. France is, after all, still in the grips of Covid and looking at the possibility of a third confinement. And a young Frenchman has created an Instagram2Suite à l’investiture de Joe Biden last week, even Bernie Sanders is having his moment on the métro! to keep track of it.

Des deguisements, des animaux, de la cuisine … people on the subway do it all

Costumes3In French, the word costume means suit., animals, and cooking … you can find that and more on the Paris Métro. So just what can you see?

Les gens qui dorment4People who sleep / sleeping people

Les gens qui dansent5People who dance / dancing people

Les gens qui chantent (même si ils ne le savent pas)6People who sing / sing people (even if they’re not aware they’re doing it)

Les animaux surprenants7Surprising animals Where we see un poney, une chevre, une poule, un crabe, un rat et même un iguane8a pony, a goat, a chicken, a crab, a rat, and even an iguana… are we on the farm or at the beach?!

Les gens qui font du sport9People who work out / exercising people, souvent sur le quai10often on the platform Ils font des tractions, des pompes, des abdos11They do pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and even a little pole dancing?

Le prolongement de la salle de bain12People continuing their morning routines (lit. the extension of the bathroom)

Les gens qui cuisinent13People who cook / cooking people

Pour approfondir votre vocabulaire

While it’s in not captured in les sous-titres14the subtitles, Gaëten uses a word twice that I had never heard before. At 1 minute 2315…qu’ils avaient vu le matin ou le soir, en allant au taf … (travail, in the subtitles) and again at 4:2416Je suis arrive à Paris il y a dix ans pour le taf (travail, in the video) he uses the word taf. Short for travail à faire17work to do/work to be donetaf has become a common replacement for the word travail in expressions like avoir beaucoup de taf18to have a lot of work and even has a morphed into a verb, taffer, which shows up in expressions like je dois taffer ce soir19I have to work tonight or je taffe à Paris20I work in Paris.

Hear taf/taffer in use (and learn 14 more typically Parisian expressions) in this great video from French School TV.

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris


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